Storytelling is older than the written word and resonates deeply with all of us.  Over time, the way we tell and share stories has changed, but the desire to tell and hear stories has remained unchanged to this day.

The annual Glen Eira Storytelling Festival — Saturday 22 June–Sunday 7 July — celebrates the telling and sharing of stories through exhibitions, concerts, cabaret, theatre, comedy performances, historical tours, films, discussion panels, literary talks, open mic sessions, and collaborative art installation.  Here are some highlights for the final week. 

Nostalgia and the ’Burbs

Thursday 4 July.  Doors 6.30pm for light refreshments. Panel 7pm–8.30pm

Glen Eira Town Hall — Auditorium

As corner milk bars disappear, video stores shut their doors and quirky suburban houses and landscapes give way to gentrification, a group of writers, photographers and artists have set about capturing the quirks and nostalgia of our changing suburban landscapes.

Join us for an evening of cultural observations from the ,burbs, trips down memory lane and some musings on the very strange phenomenon we call nostalgia. Hosted by award-winning television and radio broadcaster Libbi Gorr (ABC Radio Melbourne Weekends).

Panellists:  David Wadelton — contemporary artist, photographer and author of Suburban Baroque; Eamon Donnelly — artist, photographer and author of The Milk Bars Book; Jessie Scott — video artist and author of The Coburg Plan; and Aron Lewin — writer and creator of the Tales of Bricks and Mortar website

Wayne Quilliam

Saturday 6 July, 2pm–4pm. Carnegie Library and Community Centre — Boyd Room

Join leading Indigenous photographer, cultural advisor and Adjunct Professor, Design and Social Context, Media and Communication, RMIT University Wayne Quilliam for a discussion about Indigenous storytelling and his creative practice.

Vikki Petraitis – Short Story Writing

Saturday 6 July, 2pm–4pm. Carnegie Library and Community Centre — Boyd Room

Get ready for the My Brother Jack Awards with bestselling author Vikki Petraitis. Learn effective story structures, tricks to creating interesting characters, and ways to add life and colour to your descriptions in this insider’s point of view on how to write great stories that stand out from the crowd!

A Scanner Darkly – Film Screening

Saturday 6 July, 2.30pm–4pm. MUMA | Monash University Museum of Art

Ground floor, Building F, Monash University, Caulfield Campus. Free event.  18+ event. Pay bar and light refreshments available.  Dir. Richard Linklater, 2006.USA. 100mins. Rated R.

Richard Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly is one of the most faithful adaptations of the work of science fiction writer Philip K. Dick’s brand of existential terror. The film places its action in an alternate reality Southern California, where undercover police officer Agent Fred is investigating a group of petty criminals while posing as a drug addict named Bob Arctor, in an effort to find the source of ‘Substance D’, a highly addictive, mind-altering drug. Things start to get weird when Fred/Bob begins to question who he is — a police officer or a drug addict?

Unsolicited Male – A Play by Rob Elisha

Saturday 6 July, 5pm and 8pm. Glen Eira Town Hall — Theatrette

You’re working late. Your boss offers to take you to dinner on the way home. What do you do?

Inspired by the #MeToo movement, acclaimed playwright Ron Elisha’s new work explores the dynamics of power in the workplace. Instead of Hollywood moguls, the protagonists are people like you and me, yet the dynamics are not all that far removed from those of the casting couch. Kym Valentine, known for her roles as Libby Kennedy on Neighbours and Baby in Dirty Dancing, joins Russell Fletcher and Liam Seymour alongside Q44 company members Gabriella Rose Carter and William Atkinson. Directed by Suzanne Heywood.

Telling Tales with Catvinkle

Storytelling for Kids through the adventures of Catvinkle with Elliot Perlman

Tuesday 2 July, 11am–12.30pm. Glen Eira Town Hall — Theatrette

This is international bestselling author Elliot Perlman as you’ve never seen him! Based on The Adventures of Catvinkle, his tail-spin of a tale that makes children and adults howl with laughter, comes a storytelling workshop to help let young writers off their leash.

In his first book for children, the author of The Street Sweeper, Seven Types of Ambiguity and Three Dollars gently explores themes of racism, xenophobia and bullying through pet characters. Catvinkle is used to being top cat, completely pampered by Mr Sabatini the barber. So she is horrified when Mr Sabatini brings home a wide-eyed, lost Dalmatian named Ula. Soon Ula is warming herself by Catvinkle’s fire. To her surprise, Catvinkle likes the innocent, trusting Dalmatian, and she finds herself telling Ula her three secrets. But a cat and a dog can’t be best friends — or can they?

Growing Up Girl – Short Storybook Launch

Friday 5 July, 3pm–4pm. Carnegie Library and Community Centre, 7 Shepparson Avenue, Carnegie

Join members of Glen Eira City Council’s Girl Up committee as they speak about how and why they created their own short storybook. Written for young women aged eight to 12, this book follows the experiences of three girls struggling with their own positive identity, healthy mind and hope for the future. It offers insight and inspiration to overcome these common girlhood challenges.

Teeny Tiny Stevies Live

Sunday 7 July, 11am.  Glen Eira Town Hall — Auditorium

What started out as a fun side-project for sisters Byll and Beth from triple j unearthed indie-folk darlings The Little Stevies, Teeny Tiny Stevies is a lively children’s band that is now a sensation in its own right. Inspired by Byll’s three-year-old and the challenges of toilet training, their debut album Useful Songs for Little People (2015) quickly propelled them to success, with live TV appearances, a blog written by Zoe Foster-Blake called Kids Music That Doesn’t Suck and even an offer from Sesame Street in the US to write music for their online kids’ video channel. Their animated videos of songs such as Boss of My Own Body are on regular rotation on ABC KIDS and they continue to make inspired educational music. This is thoroughly enjoyable entertainment for the whole family.